tv European Journal PBS May 5, 2013 1:00pm-1:31pm PDT
>> hello and welcome to "european journal" coming to you from dw studios in brussels. good to have you with us. here's what's coming up in today's show. violent acts -- how turkish soldiers become victims in the army. secret deals -- why west germany paid a high price for romanian germans. and small steps -- invasive species in northern germany. when poland became a member of the e you almost 10 years ago, hundreds of thousands of polish
instantly migrated to britain. the economy in the u.k. was booming at the time, and the brith government, unlike many other eu states, welcomed migratory workers with open arms. today, polish is one of the most widely spoken languages in britain after english. in times of prosperity, all was well, but now that jobs are becoming scarce, that is changing. many british blame their country's problems on the migrants who come from countries in the east of the eu, and poland is just one of them. >> when he first came to london last summer, it was love at first sight. he had actually only come to visit friends, but he ended up staying. he fell in love with the colorful houses in their chimneys. he associates them with harry potter, and he draws them in his spare time.
>> i like the diversity here. every chimney is different. every door is colorful. and then there is a tolerance -- people smile at you on the street, and they are always apologizing even if you bump into them. >> he is one of thousands of poles who have come to make a living from repairing colorful but damp british houses. he used to work as a painter, but the pay is better in london. >> working here is great. the english are not as demanding as the poles or the germans where everything has to be perfect. >> his english boss is happy, too. polish labor is cheaper, and he says polh labors are more precise, more sorrow, more reliable. >> they have a better work ethic, i think, in my view, in
my experience. >> nevertheless, many poles working here have noticed a change in mood since the british economy has begun to slide. >> in the beginning, we were welcomed with open arms, but that has changed now. especially when more poles can than they had expected. it was not just a few thousand, but half a million right at the start, and that is just the figure -- official figure. many of us feel like we're stuck in a bad situation. >> they have remained outsiders. most want to earn as much as possible as quickly as possible and then fly home, so many do not even learn the language, and the districts they inhabit bear a striking resemblance to home. you can even find harry potter in polish. the few british people who still live in these areas barricade themselves inside these pumps.
most here used to have lucrative work in the building trade before the poles came. >> they had actually killed the building game. i have been here 30 years, and the last five years, six years, i have never known it to be so bad. to try to get work. every time you put a price in for a job, the polish are cutting it by half. >> the land lady here is on the side. >> they really upset everybody. they have no intentions of working, and they are just coming for the benefits, so that speaks in itself. i am really, really angry about that. they should not be allowed here.
>> the growing hostility to eastern european migrants has the large polish communities here concern. at this church, up to 10,000 worshipers turned up for sunday mass every week and have to pray in shifts. they fear they will be tarred with the same brush as the bulgarians and romanians, says the priest. he has worked in the polish parish here for 10 years. >> many are worried about what is happening now because of political pressure coming from the right wing. they fear they will be demonized if even more eastern europeans come, and it is already difficult for the newcomers because there are fewer jobs even for qualified specialists. >> new eastern europeans will be spread throughout the whole of europe. >> good workers are always in demand, and if the mood here keeps getting more anti-european
and britain leads the you, let them. >> with wages in britain still dwarfing those in poland, poles are unlikely to put off seeking work there. >> sometimes, the enemy is within. more soldiers have allegedly committed suicide in the turkish army in the last 10 years and died in combat. despite 30 years of armed conflict between turkey and kurdish insurgents, from the banned labor party pkk. now a civic movement made up of their families is calling forn investigatn into abusive practices within the military, insisting that many of these deaths are suspicious. in a nation that takes place -- pride in its military service, the army is suddenly finding itself being called to account. >> a long time has passed, but
the polacks are distraught by what happened to their son. eight years ago, he left his home in istanbul for military service. he never returned. he died in an army barcks, the victim of a brutal beating. >> we send our son to serve the fatherland, and the fatherland killed him. he did not fall in conflict but fighting kurdish separatists. he was killed by fellow soldiers. they stomped on him. his body was covered with boot marks. it was horrendous. >> he was accused of theft, and in custody, he was subjected to hours of being on the orders of a superior officer. the soldiers responsible were let off with a fine. now his parents want justice.
>> he still had everything ahead of him. he wants to start a business and have a family, take care of us when we got old. but allah cut his time short and took him. what else can i say? >> in mid-march, a group of soldiers families rallied in front of parliament in agra. they were among them, outraged at how slowly such crimes are investigated. for decades, verbal and physical abuse and suicide in the turkish army was a taboo topic. now victims and their families dare to go public. >> we sent our brother to do military service, and what did they do? they killed him. i ask you -- has that ever happened to the child of a parliamentarian or the son of a rich family? than a human rights organizations acsed the army of hushing up suspicious deaths by making them look like suicides.
they say more soldiers have died in their own barracks than from rebels in the separatist kurdish party. every male must serve 15 months draft. conscientious objection is not allowed. in school, children learn that every turk is a born soldier. military culture has a long tradition in turkey. the founder of the turkish republic was himself an army general, but today, the military has lost a lot of its political clout, and grievances that were long suppressed are now finally being aired. he does his military services in the provinces of anatolia. to this day, he is haunted by his experiences there. recently, he filed a complaint with the human rights parliamentary commission. turkish nationalists view his action as tantamount to treason. even speaking to us is a risk.
in turkey, it is a crime tsay anything that can harm the reputation of the army. >> corporal punishment was normal if you did not to your duties or performed into a less than satisfactory standard. there were comrades who were subjected to sleep deprivation, and if they fell asleep later on duty, they would be punished again. i saw it. it was quite normal for officer cadets to be allowed to humiliate the new reuits. they were always exploiting them, and even forcing them to make breakfast. they were their personal servants. >> an initiative for soldiers rights was founded in istanbul, and in just the first eight months, it received nearly 1000
requests for help. the activists are demanding ombudsman for the soldiers much like germany's commissioner for the armed forces. >> every year, 400,000 young men are cooped up together for 15 months, and the only choice they had is to be a victim or to take part in the abuse and humiliation in one way or another. it is systematic, and that has got to be broken. >> most of the victims of abuse and suicide in the turkish armed forces are members of ethnic minorities or come from poor backgrounds. he grew up in a poor neighborhood in assemble, and his father runs a tea shop. eight years after his son's death, he is fighting for justice. he wants to force the military brass to admit their complicity,
and he wants the case against his son's accused killers reopened. >> i will not rest until the death of my son is a tone for, until those responsible for it are no longer running around free and until the state recognizes my son as a fallen martyr. >> as a student, he generally had little to worry about in the barracks. his fellow soldiers were aware that he was able to take legal action if they try anything. the cool hazings in the barracks left a stain on his image at the so-called heroic turkish military, and they left the memories of torment that still haunt him. >> they always justified rough treatment in the army with the threat of terrorism. but now, a peace process has been initiated with the kurds. that could be an opportunity for us to ensure that turkey has
normal, humane military service in the future. >> the courage of family members and witnesses has triggered a public debate -- a debate that may save the lives of future soldiers in turkey. >> the greater the crime, the more difficult it is to come to term with them. that also holds true for the deeds committed by the romanian dictator. during the cold war, his secret service was notorious. now 20 years after the collapse of the soviet union, details have emerged that showed that the secret service was a close partner of several governments of western germany at the time. the germans paid money so that german romanians could leave the communist country and move to the west. >> the village in transylvania
romania -- johann has the keys to every building on the street because they are all empty. they used to be more than 1000 here. >> all saxon names. >> and all gone. except johann and his wife. the others left in their keys so he could keep an eye on their places. some still return and spend their holidays here. they get a bit misty eyed when they remember the old days, before the ethnic germans left the communist dictatorship for the freedom of the west. before the berlin wall fell, west germany purchased the freedom of some 230,000
romanians of german descent. to do this, the west german government had to strike deals with the notorious secret service, the securitate. the negotiator on the german side served every chancellor for 22 years. now he has returned to romania for a conference seeking to uncover more details about these secret deals. >> from our point of view, it was buying people's freedom, freeing people from economic and political bondage. and each time hirsch struck a deal with securitate, long lines formed in front of passport offices. the agreement decided how many people could leave romania and how much west germany would pay for each one, but how much cash changed hands in all? >> i will not answer that. >> previously, it was thought 1
billion marks were spent, but the conference made clear that the sum was closer to $1.5 billion as west germany granted interest subsidies and bonuses, and securitate blackmail those anxious to leave romania. >> i will not say everyone, but starting in the 1980's, a significant number of those who left the country paid incentives, acceleration money, bribes, or whatever you want to call it. >> the securitate only accepted bribes in hard currency, which was illegal for private citizens to possess, so relatives would bring the cash from the west. it was often paid to middlemen like the local gardener. >> the gardener would not always except money. only in certain times. word would get around that the gardiner was taking money. then people would go there and
lined up in front of his house to give him cash. >> we meet with the contact on the romanian side. the former securitate kernel has written a book about his years with the romanian secret service. he plans to send a copy to hirsch, whom he came to respect after meeting with him some 1000 times. he claims the west german money help romania pay off its foreign debt, and west germany also gave many non-monetary gifts such as cars. >> without any prompting, he asked what the president would like for his birthday. west germany then gave him a hunting rifle with ammunition. and he confirms the gift of the rifle. he also says germany knew that the securitate was blackmailing ethnic germans but had little choice but to ignore it.
>> our main concern was to secure the flow of immigrants, not to go after every single criminal offense. >> the finals on the negotiations are still classified, so a lot remains unknown about what exactly happened when the ethnic germans left. >> buying their freedom may have been important for political reasons and for europe, but for me, it was a catastrophe. >> when it comes to protecting biodiversity, the international community stands united -- at least in theory. almost 200 countries have signed the un convention on the protection of bio diversity, but protectingnimaand plant species is difficult to do in practice.
man-made phenomena like climate change are a growing threat, and globalization has meant that an increasing number of species have invaded areas where they are not from originally and where they are pushing the local population aside. scientists are currently busy trying to figure out with the arrival of the new bird could entail for the environment in northern germany. the flightless bird is originally from south america. until recently, they could only be seen in zoos in germany, but a group decided to escape from one such a zoo, and since then, their offspring have been roaming the northern german countryside. >> the bird first came to northern germany from south america in 2000.
now it has made itself at home. it is an innovator and a conqueror. this expert counts the birds twice a year. this time, he cannot seem to find any. maybe the long, cold winter decimated them. but then, he finds offensive. where is the rest of the bird? not far away, as it happens. it is feeding quite happily. >> it is a species that thrives extremely well in our cultivated countrysides. we have lots of canola and
greens planted all over and lots of pasture lands. that is advantageous to the species. canola in particular help it survive the winter. >> for the bird, it is an ideal food source. much to the dismay of this grow or of canola, the birds are eating up more and more of his crops every year, and he is powerless to stop them. everywhere he looks, the leaves have been down to the stock. >> 1/3 of my crops is canola. if i lose it, i lose 1/3 of my revenue. think about what that means. it is enough to finish me off. i would go broke. i would go bankrupt. simple as that. i could not absorb it. i just could not manage with revenue down 1/3.
>> germany's environment ministry is aware of the plight. they say it is a sad but isolated case and nothing cane done because the birds protected by the washington convention on endangered species. >> that means we are not allowed to hunt, interfere with, chase, or kill it, nor can we interfere with its habitat. >> so the erea -- rea is free to enjoy the northern german is hospitality, but do they pose a threat? this university has been looking into the impact of non-native species can have. when an invasive species is introduced, humans usually have something to do with it.
the american crayfish is one example. >> they were introduced after the european crayfish had declined because of water pollution, and now the american crayfish is turning out to be a problem because it has brought in a fungus infection that is causing a massive decrease in the native crayfish. thats a direct result of this fungus infection, and the consequences could be devastating. >> that makes the question -- did the rhea bring in any diseases? for now, the bird is under observation. conservationists say the only real howard the present is when they try to cross roads and highways. other invasive species pose much greater threats. >> these things of the consequence of the global trade
relations of vegetables and flowers coming from spain and the slug coming along with them. the same goes for pets like moths. they come in with certain types of fruits. they can cause massive damage to crops. >> so far, he has found little support for his problems with the rheas. >> it is just gone, but that is the y things are. >> he has little hope that nature will eventually take care of the problem. >> for now, they are completely safe because they have no natural enemies. the only when they might have is the eagle which picks up a check now and then, but that is not much. >> rhea expert frank philip cannot give the farmer any encouragement, either. the years-long winter has had no
effect on the bird. breeding season has begun, and they are by laying eggs. >> compared the spring last year, the population has greatly increase. we have hard evidence of that, and the trend is set to continue exponentially in the long term. >> and how many birds will there be in, say, 10 years? >> in 10 years, we could easily reach 500 or may be even 1000 birds if the weather conditions are right. >> that report brings us to the end of this edition of "european journal" from brussels. thanks very much for watching. join us again at the same time next week if you can, or you can watch all our reports again on line. the address is dw.de/eur opeanjournal. until next week, auf wiedersehen